BBC News in England, yesterday, headlined:
‘NHS ‘haemorrhaging’ nurses as 33,000 leave each year’
before going on to report:
‘The NHS is “haemorrhaging” nurses with one in 10 now leaving the NHS in England each year, figures show.
More than 33,000 walked away last year, piling pressure on understaffed hospitals and community services.
The figures – provided to the BBC by NHS Digital – represent a rise of 20% since 2012-13, and mean there are now more leavers than joiners.
Nurse leaders said it was a “dangerous and downward spiral”, but NHS bosses said the problem was being tackled.
The figures have been compiled as part of an in-depth look at nursing by the BBC.’
No comparable media reports are being made of nurse staffing levels in Scotland. Indeed, official figures to September 2017, actually show a modest increase in numbers of 0.4%, from September 2016.
Indeed, NHS Scotland already has a far superior ratio of nurses to the population than NHS England. See:
As the Herald attempts to worry us with 0.58% of nurses planning to work abroad, official statistics show NHS Scotland has many more nurses per head of population than crisis-ridden NHS England, after 10 years of SNP administration.
Clearly disappointed by their inability to talk down their own NHS and scare their mostly elderly readers, the Scotsman did find a few wee scraps back on the 5th January 2018. They headlined dramatically but inaccurately:
‘Hundreds of nurses are leaving Scotland every year to seek work abroad while hospitals here struggle to attract staff, official figures indicate.’
and told us, ominously that since 2012-13, 1,609 nurses who qualified in Scotland have filled out verification requests to go and work in other countries – and the numbers have been rising in recent years. Of course, we don’t know how many actually left as opposed to just filling in a form
So that would be about 330 nurses who have filled out a form each year. They clearly couldn’t tell us how many had actually gone in this time nor did they put the figure in perspective in any way.
How many nurses are there in Scotland? Well, in Nursing, excluding Midwifery, there were 56 468.2 FTE in September 2017 with 0.58%. apparently thinking of leaving to go abroad in any one year. You’ll recognise the basic propagandist technique of using the larger five-year figure rather than the more informative one-year figure.
So, 330, is that a lot, even if they had all left? If they had, would it even matter when staffing levels actual went up a wee bit? Is it a crisis anything like that afflicting NHS England?
Well, 300 is 0.58% of the total nurse staffing in Scotland. Bearing in mind that we don’t even know how many of them did leave and that overall numbers still went up, it’s a non-story. Finally, when the BBC tell us it is 10% per year actually leaving England, 0.59% is not even a nick never mind a haemorrhage.